Guiding takes on size-zero issues

Gone are the days when guides sat around sewing and baking cakes; today's girls are more likely to be debating a Brown premiership or discussing size-zero models.

As it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2010, Girlguiding UK is introducing modern programmes on body confidence and political participation.

It is working with beauty products company Dove and Beat, formerly the Eating Disorders Association, to create activity packs containing games and information for girls aged over 10.

"Self-esteem remains one of the biggest challenges for girls and women," said Denise King, chief executive of Girlguiding UK. It is looking at producing a similar pack next year to help girls and young women engage with politics.

"There's a continuing trend of scepticism and apathy among young women," said King. She admitted the organisation had faced resistance to some of its more modern ideas, but stressed that it operates on a voluntary basis.

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